Abstract: Development of a vaccine against congenital infection with human cytomegalovirus is complicated by the issue of re-infection, with subsequent vertical transmission, in women with pre-conception immunity to the virus. The study of experimental therapeutic prevention of re-infection would ideally be undertaken in a small animal model, such as the guinea pig cytomegalovirus (GPCMV) model, prior to human clinical trials. However, the ability to model re-infection in the GPCMV model has been limited by availability of only one strain of virus, the 22122 strain, isolated in 1957. In this report, we describe the isolation of a new GPCMV strain, the CIDMTR strain. This strain demonstrated morphological characteristics of a typical Herpesvirinae by electron microscopy. Illumina and PacBio sequencing demonstrated a genome of 232,778 nt. Novel open reading frames ORFs not found in reference strain 22122 included an additional MHC Class I homolog near the right genome terminus. The CIDMTR strain was capable of dissemination in immune compromised guinea pigs, and was found to be capable of congenital transmission in GPCMV-immune dams previously infected with salivary gland‑adapted strain 22122 virus. The availability of a new GPCMV strain should facilitate study of re-infection in this small animal model.
Keywords: guinea pig cytomegalovirus; cytomegalovirus strain variation; CMV immune evasion; congenital cytomegalovirus infection; congenital CMV vaccines
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Schleiss, M.R.; McAllister, S.; Armién, A.G.; Hernandez-Alvarado, N.; Fernández-Alarcón, C.; Zabeli, J.C.; Ramaraj, T.; Crow, J.A.; McVoy, M.A. Molecular and Biological Characterization of a New Isolate of Guinea Pig Cytomegalovirus. Viruses 2014, 6, 448-475.
Schleiss MR, McAllister S, Armién AG, Hernandez-Alvarado N, Fernández-Alarcón C, Zabeli JC, Ramaraj T, Crow JA, McVoy MA. Molecular and Biological Characterization of a New Isolate of Guinea Pig Cytomegalovirus. Viruses. 2014; 6(2):448-475.
Schleiss, Mark R.; McAllister, Shane; Armién, Anibal G.; Hernandez-Alvarado, Nelmary; Fernández-Alarcón, Claudia; Zabeli, Jason C.; Ramaraj, Thiruvarangan; Crow, John A.; McVoy, Michael A. 2014. "Molecular and Biological Characterization of a New Isolate of Guinea Pig Cytomegalovirus." Viruses 6, no. 2: 448-475.